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Speaking in general terms, how would you call things (assets) that need to be bought or created in order to be able to complete a task (tools, materials, devices, etc.), when you want to ephasize that it has physical form, as opposed to things like knowledge, information, skills, etc.

What if I say something like:

"material means" or "substantive instruments"?

Context example:

“[my word] which are used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.) are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”

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If I understand your context correctly, you are looking for a noun to use to refer to these things which would indicate that they are physical items, rather than an adjective to describe them.

In that case 'equipment' would be my first choice. A possible alternative could be 'apparatus'. Albeit I would slightly re-work the sentence:

Equipment used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.) are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.

Depending on the exact nature of the items being described, you could opt for a more specialist noun such as 'devices' or 'machinery', both of which indicate physical objects of a specific type.

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  • Tangible:

    adjective

    1. capable of being touched; discernible by the touch; material or substantial.

    2. real or actual, rather than imaginary or visionary: the tangible benefits of sunshine.

    3. definite; not vague or elusive: no tangible grounds for suspicion.

    4. (of an asset) having actual physical existence, as real estate or chattels, and therefore capable of being assigned a value in monetary terms.

    noun

    1. something tangible, especially a tangible asset.

  • Palpable:

    adjective

    1. readily or plainly seen, heard, perceived, etc.; obvious; evident: a palpable lie; palpable absurdity.

    2. capable of being touched or felt; tangible.

    3. Medicine/Medical. perceptible by palpation.

  • Evident:

    adjective

    1. plain or clear to the sight or understanding:

      His frown made it evident to all that he was displeased.

      It was evident that the project was a total failure.

Tangible measures are used to implement flood protection and are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”

Palpable efforts are used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.), these are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”

"Our multiple efforts used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.) are clearly evident, and provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”

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    I think tangible fits well; 'tangible assets' is often used in contrast to 'intangible assets' like knowledge, skills etc.. You can also use as a noun and talk about tangibles. – S Conroy Aug 16 '18 at 0:39
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You can also use part or component which are synonyms of constituent.

Example:

  • Constituents which are used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.) are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”
  • Components which are used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.) are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”
  • Parts which are used to implement flood protection measures (barriers, etc.) are provided mainly by the maintenance or purchasing department.”
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paraphernalia, stuff, gear — all imply materialness thereof

with the context provided these will not do - you need some formal word here

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    I see nothing remotely unusual in Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs and other paraphernalia, and none of those things are "material". Same thing with He doesn't care about stuff like passing exams. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 15 '18 at 17:13
  • @FumbleFingers Then any word may be used metaphorically to designate both parts of dichotomy unless one specifically predicates that this item is not tangible. – Michael Login Aug 15 '18 at 17:19
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    I never said that. Note that I specifically didn't mention gear before - I stand to be corrected, but I can't think of any context where truly intangible elements could be explicitly included in a list of the gear necessary to complete some task, or similar. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 15 '18 at 17:30
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    I must admit that particular example doesn't sit well with me. Since "Southern" is a bit specific there, I easily found the one and only instance of your sequence. But I found 3 instances of the usual trappings of a Rock band, whereas there were no instances at all of that shorter version with gear. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 15 '18 at 17:47
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    The full OED does have three subdefinitions for gear - 11a: Discourse, doctrine, talk; 11b: Doings, ‘goings on’; 11c A matter, affair, business - that specifically cover "abstract, non-material" things. But they're all marked archaic/obsolete. If you're happy with your examples I can't really argue with how you understand and/or use the term, but so far as I'm concerned their (also obsolete) definition 10 A material substance or stuff; in depreciatory sense, rubbish still governs the scope in respect of all modern figurative usages. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 16 '18 at 12:12

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